Lest I be full, and deny you, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
Read Chapter 30
Ambrose of Milan
The poor man and the rich man should therefore take heed, because there are temptations for the man of poverty as well as for the man of wealth. And so the wise man says, “Give me neither beggary nor riches.” He tells you how this can be obtained. Man has enough when he has a sufficiency, because a wealthy man tends to distend his mind with cares and anxieties, just as he gorges his stomach with rich food. For that reason the wise man prays that he may have what is necessary and adequate.… Shun and avoid, therefore, the temptations of the world, so that the poor may not despair and the rich may not grow proud.
Surely you see that this sufficiency is not to be coveted for its own sake but to provide for health of body and for clothing which accords with one’s personal dignity and which makes it possible for him to live with others honorably and respectably.
Solomon says, “Give me neither beggary nor riches; give me only what is necessary and sufficient,” lest being filled I should deny and say, Who sees me? Or being poor, I should steal and forswear the name of my God; thus representing riches as satiety, poverty as a complete lack of the necessities of life, and sufficiency as a state both free from want and without superfluity. Sufficiency varies, however, according to physical condition and present need.… In every case, care must be taken for a good table, yet without overstepping the limits of the actual need.